The earliest mention that I have found so far is in the 1841 census:
Wallacetown of St. Quivox, living in Kilmarnock Street:
John Bird, Coal Miner, age 25,
Mary Bird age 25
Ann Bird age 8
John age 5
James age 1
On the children's birth records, Mary's maiden name is given as Torrance but I can't find any trace of her birth yet.
The 1851 census is where the name 'Bird' changes to 'Burgess' but names, ages and places of birth for the family all match up to those given for the 'Bird' family in 1841. I don't know why this name change would happen but I've looked at so many census records now that I know the information recorded isn't always correct and often strange or weird information appears. Most, if not all, of my ancestors were illiterate in 1841 and they lived in a world where information was mostly oral and had to be passed down from one generation to the next. Maybe the family had good reason to use another name. Perhaps they were in debt or had other personal reasons for changing their name. I've often come across ancestors who have been very creative with their age, making themself out to be much younger than they were. The spelling of names changes often- Govan/Govans/Gavin is a name that often changes inky family. Sometimes on death certificates the son or daughter just don't know what their maternal grandmother was called or where their mother was born. This can be infuriating for the amateur genealogist or, like me, you might think it just adds to the fun of trying to trace ancestors and find the correct evidence to prove the their link to my family.
From 1861 onwards, the family name is 'Bird' once more and there is no further mention of Burgess. Maybe the Bird family was referred to as the 'Burdies' and that's not too far a stretch to Burgess. I'll probably never be able to find out!
John Burgess b. about 1811 at St Quivox, coal miner.
Mary Burgess b. about 1813 at St. Quivox
Agnes b. 26th June 1831 (age 19) at St Quivox
John b. 11 April 1836 (age 14) coal miner b. St Quivox
James b. 14th February 1840 (age 11) b. St Quivox
William b. 8th February 1845 (age 6) b. St Quivox
Peter (age 4) b. 3rd April 1848 – born at Old Rome, Dundonald
The family are living at Old Rome, probably in miner's rows that had been built to accommodate the miners in the local area.
The family are once more called Bird and are still living at Old Rome.
Father, John Bird, is not listed on census and doesn't appear on any future census documents.
Mother – Mary Bird age 46, Housekeeper
James Bird, age 20, living in Old Rome and is a coal miner
William Bird – age 16 – coal miner
Peter Bird – age 14 born in Old Rome – coal miner’s assistant
Elizabeth - age 9, at school - born in Old Rome 1852
Also listed Agnes McCallum grand-daughter age 3, born Riccarton, Kilmarnock Riccarton is a parish area to the south east of Kilmarnock.
Mary Bird - age 57
William Bird - age 25, Coal Miner
Peter Bird- age 22 Coal Miner
Agnes McCallum - age 13, grand-daughter Scholar
The family are now living at No6 Springside Square, Springside, Dreghorn. These were musty one or two apartment houses built to accommodate miners. The single apartment houses only measured approximately 16 feet by 14 feet. In the Square there were shared washing-houses, closets and ashpits, all built together.
Peter Bird 32, living at Dreghorn (village) an∂ he is now an Engineman at the pit.
Isabella Gillies, his wife, is 28, and was born in Dreghorn
Isabella Bird, daughter, age 7, scholar
Mary Bird, daughter, age 5, scholar
Agness Bird, daughter, age 1
William Bird, 35, married, 29 Kirkland Rows., Dreghorn, Coal Miner
Jane Faulds, wife, 44, b. Stewarton., 44, b. 1837
Jane had previously been married to John Hutchison and had at least two children with him before marrying William Bird. Her younger child, John Hutchison, is not listed on the 1881 census. As he would be 19 or 20, he may be living elsewhere and not necessarily deceased.
Robert Hutchison, Jane’s son, age 22, b. Dreghorn, Coal miner
Mary Bird, age 4 b. Dreghorn
William Bird, age 2
Euphemia M Bird, 8 months
Peter Bird, 42, McMurtries Land, Dreghorn, Coal miner
Isabella Bird, daughter, 17, Apprentice dressmaker
Agness Bird, 11, scholar
WilliamBird, age 45, 9 Springhill Row, Dreghorn, Coal Pit Oversman
Jane Bird age 54
Mary Bird, age 14, Pupil Teacher
William Bird, age 12, Scholar
Euphemia Bird age 10, Scholar
Away from home:
Mary - General Serv Domestic, North Glassock, Fenwick, age 15, working for the Wylie family – farmers
Peter Bird – age 53, Dreghorn, Coal miner
Agnes age 21, Dressmaker
John Bird, 8, grandson, born Dreghorn
Isabella Bird (Peter's daughter) – age 27, married, 5 Hayside Row, Dreghorn
Robert Allan, husband, 26, b. Kilmaurs, Railway Porter Signalman
James Allan, son, 8 months, b. Dreghorn
William 56, Colliery Overman, 9 Springhill Row, Dreghorn
Mary, Bird 24, School Teacher
Euphemia Bird, 20, Housekeeper
Away from home visiting in Glasgow: William Bird, 22, Railway Clerk
Springhill Row contained 14 two apartment house, and was situated on the main road between Kilmarnock and Dreghorn, about four miles from Kilmarnock at Springside. This was an area surrounded by pits in the 19th century and many miner's rows were built to accommodate the miners and their families.
Mary Bird, illegitimate, widow of John Bird (coal miner), died 8th October 1884, 6.30pm, Dreghorn village, 70 years, mother: Elizabeth Harper, handsewer, deceased, cause of death unknown, no one attending, signed Peter Bird, son, 9th October 1884 Parish of Dreghorn
To my surprise yet again, or maybe not, when Mary died in 1884, Peter gave her mother's name as Elizabeth Harper - not Torrance. There has been no trace of anyone named Harper anywhere else in this branch of the family tree but Torrance has been given as the middle name to at least two children. Did Peter make a mistake? I just don't know.
I think there still could be some more to find out about the Bird family. I'm intrigued that Mary, William's daughter became a teacher. Perhaps this was at the school in Springside. As ever, more research to be done!